Today we're diving in to two more of the Book Blueprint mindsets.
A Purposeful Outline and Value Driven Content.
This is a bit of a deep dive, but amplifies some of the topics from the last few shows. It will be a huge help if you're at the stage where you have your audience dialed in, you know where you want them to go next, and you're ready to start planning how to get them there (the content).
As with all the Book Blueprint mindsets, you'll find you are more advanced in some than others, but the main thing we're trying to achieve here, is helping you make the most of each element that makes up your book.
Don't forget, you can see how your book idea stacks up against the Book Blueprint by going to BookBlueprintScore.com and if you want to be a guest on the show to plan your successful book, just head over to 90MinuteBooks.com/guest
During the show we a great MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com episode (Ep087) with Dr. Phil Yoo. It's a great example of using a book to amplify workshop leads. Go take a listen.
Lastly, here is a link to the other Book Blueprint Scorecard Episodes.
Ready to get started: 90MinuteBooks.com/get-started
Be a Guest: 90MinuteBooks.com/guest
Your Book Blueprint Score: BookBlueprintScore.com
Titles Workshop: 90MinuteBooks.com/Workshops
Interview Shows: 90-Minute Books Author Interviews
Questions/Feedback: Send us an email
Extra Credit Listening: MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com
Transcript: Book More Show 053
Stuart: Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Book More Show. It's Stuart here with Betsey. How's it going, Betsey?
Betsey: Very good. Good to be here.
Stuart: Good, good. Betsey's just back from vacation, if you can hear that relaxed tone in her voice. It's the being out of the office for a week definitely helps.
Betsey: It does. It does. It's nice to be back, though.
Stuart: Always. Today, we're going to be disciplined. Today, we're not going to talk about the weather. I'm not going to go off on a tangent. We're definitely going to talk about the Book Blueprint Scorecards, elements five and six, which is a purposeful outline and value driven content. We trailed it a little bit last week, but then went off on a slightly different track. Today, we're going to get through it. Sound good?
Betsey: All right, yeah, looking forward to it.
Stuart: Perfect. If anyone's just joining us partway through this series of the Book Blueprint Scorecards, then I'll put a link in the show notes here for the other episodes, so you can listen to them, all three. Show notes for this one are going to be at 90minutebooks.com/podcast, and then this is episode 053, 53, so the eight elements of the Book Blueprint Scorecard are the ways of judging your project, your book project, how effective it's going to be, against the things that particularly for, I don't necessarily want to say lead generation, but a book that's designed to engage customers rather than just being obviously narrative or fiction or just purely for entertainment.
There are eight elements that are important considerations. The scorecard is a way of scoring yourself across each of those to identify which areas you got nailed down already and which ones you might want to pay some more attention to so it's the most effective that it can be. We'll hit them one at a time. Number five then is a purposeful outline. We're going to slowly move in through the book from start to finish. We talked last time about, last time in the series about the minimum viable commitment call to action. This is when people get to the back of the book. We've already talked about a title so we know how we're identifying people at the front of the book. So purposeful outline is really when you think about it particularly in a physical sense where people are physically getting a copy of the book, the majority of people look at the front cover. Almost everyone looks at the back cover and then as you start working through the pages, a decreasing number of people get further and further into the book 'cause that's just the way it goes.
So we talk about creating a book that's kind of a bite size consumable book. We often talk about being consumed on a flight. I'll often be flying from Florida back up to Philadelphia although for a while bit, back and forth that's like a two hour flight. So by the time you've got settled in your seat, got a drink of coffee or maybe not airplane coffee but got a drink, got settled down then an hour or two, an hour and a half of reading is a great timeframe to think about someone being able to dedicate to consume your book. To understand what this topic is that you're trying to introduce or the point of view of the take that you've got on it. It's reasonable to expect someone to be able to get through it in that period of time. And the lengthy books that we traditionally talk about or typically talk about are perfect to fit in that gap.
The first page that someone really gets to is the table of contents. The table of contents is really the key. After the front and back it's the page that the majority of people are going to look at because it's easy for them to consume. There's not commitment. They can look at it without feeling that they've got to sit down and start. It's not like a clock's running. There's no kind of intellectual requirement or commitment needed to glance at it. It's almost like that judging page of like I'm pretty sure I want to read this. I've picked it up, I've requested it because the title resonates with me. I've looked at the back cover and seen where this is leading. So the table of contents is really kind of the bullet points, those headlines to talk about what's coming up. What's in the pages ahead?
Betsey: That is so true. I'm kind of walking through this in my head and we talk a lot about people will look at the front of the book, if it's not obvious we flip it over to the back of the book and that's where it sucks us in. But then opening it up and I always do that, I always go in and see people at bookstores, I'm still a bookstore kind of girl. So I go to bookstores and I like a physical book in my hand. I see people and they just flip it over. Probably more so since I'm this line of work now but I always, people don't always open it up. I open up a little table of contents and there's got to be even if I've been grabbed by the back cover, there's got to be a few things in that table of contents that grabs my attention too. Then I go, okay, this is a book for me, whatever. I need to read this kind of thing.
Stuart: It's almost like we've mentioned a couple times before when we've talked about read rates and how few people actually read a book and then why this is important us as we're thinking about creating books. There's obviously you guys are the people that are listening now, it's important when thinking about creating it because it's so easy to get sucked into the creating the book and focused on the book where really the book is just the tool to identify a potential client and start a conversation. It's so easy to forget about that and think about it other way around. But we often talk about as the book purchaser you almost want the benefits of the book to be delivered to you through osmosis. Just by ordering it you want to benefit. I don't want to have to buy a book and then read the damn thing. I just want all of those benefits magically given to me just 'cause I've touched it. And the table of contents is almost like a little cheat to deliver those high level messages, just the bullet points without necessarily expecting someone to read it all.
Again, all of these little pre-suasion type techniques or subtle cues to make people think that they're in the right place, ideally again we're talking about using these to generate business and start conversations. Number one you'd want someone just to, I mean the whole premise around it is that someone requests a copy of the book because it's there, it exists. It's the reason for someone to give you their name and email address. If nothing else actually happened with the rest of the book itself then that's great, it's done its job. It's moved them onto the next stage. Ideally then they'd engage you in conversation, in dialogue through email or individually and then the job of having a book has actually been achieved without necessarily having it.
Just on a side note, I'm going to try and reel myself in so I don't get too sidetracked here. Just on a side note, this is the whole premise around the bestsellers thing. There are a number of programs around that say, "Come and work with us, create a bestseller." The fact that you've got a bestseller that you can put that label on there means that you'll, it's a benefit for credibility and all of this business. We don't talk about that type of thing but the point I want to make is a lot of those programs actually at the point that someone gets an Amazon bestseller title the book doesn't even exist because you can pre-sell copies up to, I forget what the timeframe is, maybe 90 days before and as long as you hit that delivery date so that the title doesn't get pulled and then obviously that's bad. But you can actually be a bestseller with having zero books at all.
It just really goes to show you emphasize on one hand the nonsense of the system and on the other hand all of these mental, psychological cues that can be pulled from without necessarily having to commit to a full program that backs it all up. Obviously I'm not saying get a bestseller and don't do anything. But the thing that you actually do becomes less relevant to certain degree. Obviously as with everything it depends and the content of the book needs to be valuable enough to, so that the recipient, the reader doesn't feel cheated by giving you an hour of their time and then actually realizing that it's been wasted which is the next Book Blueprint Scorecard mindset that we'll get to which is value driven content.
But this whole thing of starting the conversation. If I can start the conversation just by getting someone to raise their hand that's great. If they then get a copy of the book and they look on the back cover and that call to action is enough to encourage them to take that next step, that's great. It's done its job. If they then open the book and the table of contents, the bullets that are in there are enough to convince them or compel them to take the next step then hey it's done its job. And then when we get into the content itself if the message that you're delivering resonates with them enough for them to take that next step then that's great. It's done its job. At every stage there's the opportunity for it to have done its job at every stage.
With that expanded detail covered, the main point that we want to make is that the table of contents in a fiction type book or a textbook, the table of contents is a key is a reference point to content in the book. In this context yes that's one job because that's the framework that everyone expects but the other job and in a certain way the more important job is the table of contents should be thought of as bullet points in a slide presentation. So if you were speaking from stage, one of the first couple of slide that you would put up is here's what we're going to talk about because there's that old education trick or framework of tell them what you're going to tell them and tell them and then tell them what you've told them to establish that message that you're trying to get across.
So think of the table of contents as those bullets that you'd put up early in a presentation so okay here's what we're about to go through. The beginning, the middle, the end, the bullets the table of contents by themselves should almost tell a bit of a story. They should be the thread that leads them from the cover to the back cover. The last chapter in the book's really for people, we always or usually put as here's what to do next. So again, it's giving people that anchor to if they don't actually want to sacrifice an hour of their time to read it they can just jump to here's what to do next. Which really flies people, it's just a repeat of what's on the back cover because it's that next step. That minimum viable commitment next step that's the important thing.
Betsey: When I speak to people who are either just onboard or thinking about coming onboard one of the questions that I always say is that, "Okay do I need to have my outline ready?" So from our perspective here at 90 Minute Books, I always say, "No, we don't have to have." We try to make it as simple as possible. As easy as possible around here. And so I always say, "No we don't." Now some individuals 'cause we will do that for you and no, with our content team they will work with that. With you on that and help you create that natural flow and like you said almost that story itself. We see that a lot. So individual's either have, we see one extreme or the other. Absolutely no outline prepared, nothing whatsoever, which is fine and don't want people to ever freak out like oh I don't have that, I'm not ready. But we've also seen the other end where maybe over prepared or a lot of information we've received, like 15 page outlines and which could essentially be, that's almost too much information, that's far too much information, you know.
Stuart: When you think about having to write to support 15 pages of an outline, then you're getting into significant textbook territory. That's a lot of content to back up. I think the couple I've seen that are very heavily prepared like that, I think and Susan on the content team are great at doing this, of kind of pulling it back up to what are the key points and what of this work that you've already done to outline can be used as sub-points or headings or reminders, kind of Egmond Wa type thing of as you recalled in the content, use these additional points to make sure you don't miss anything rather than trying to use that as a table of contents and really overdo what's in it.
And all of these elements tie back into each other. So, someone coming with or as you're listening to this, if you've got very, very heavy outline, we talk in the next prophet if anyone is listening that doesn't know, the a prophet is a very strong framework that we use across all of their elements, the business here and it rolls off the tongue. It's so ingrained, it rolls off the tongue faster that book blueprint or mindsets.
So anyway, the number seven in Book Blueprint Scorecard is beneficial constraints. So we'll talk about the reason that you really want to consider dialing things in and putting a scope on it. Because otherwise, you could write, you could still be writing this in a year's time and we hear from so many people who come onboard with it that eventually have first reached out a year or two years ago and then just not progressed it because they write themselves into a corner, or create an outline that they just don't have time or inclination to deliver upon. So that high level thinking of the table of contents as bullet points that you would have on a presentation I think is a great way for people to think about it.
If you come into work with us and you don't have anything ready then that's exactly what the content team do. Susan's particularly very, very good at saying, "Okay, who's it you're trying to engage with? What's the thing that's most important to them and if they needed your know five things in order to get from not knowing anything to knowing something that will start to progress the conversation, what are those five things? And then let's structure around that." Because again, as we always say, "There's always more that you could say. There's not necessarily always more that you should say." Again there's having the outline tailored to that particular news case or funnel or reason for having the book in the first place. All of that's going to help.
So, I'm going to quickly dive into the four mindsets. As I say if you're joining this and not listened to any of the previous ones then head over to either 90minutebooks.com/podcast and this is episode 53 or look for any of the other Book Blueprint episodes and there'll be a link in there to a PDF version of the Book Blueprint Scorecard. So you can score yourself. Download a copy of it and score yourself, or the better way of doing it is heading over to bookblueprintscore.com and then there's a scorecard on there that will step you through step, by step, by step each of the mindsets and allow you to put a card and then it will email you at the end of it the, your score so you can keep track of it as you go through.
So, the four mindsets for number five, which is a purposeful outline at the lowest level, you don't have a plan to create an outline at all. You might know a lot about your field and be able to create content but you just haven't really thought about the structure of what it should be. If you're at that level that's really a case where it's just you need to think about it. You might be coming to this and thinking about writing a book from the kind of mindset of I need to write something I can talk about this subject, I should just write on that or I know that we get a lot of questions about this particular subject, I should just write on that and then start with the content rather than starting with the outline. The problem there is exactly what we were saying earlier, there are no scope constraints, there are no directions. It's like that old analogy of I need to instead of planning to get from A to B in a journey just starting to drive and hoping that you stumble across the destination. Not the best plan.
Betsey: No it's not.
Stuart: Number two then, level the second level you've narrowed your focus to a specific target audience which is one of the mindsets we talk about earlier on. But it's still relatively broad and difficult to comprehensively answer one question so this comes back to that point of I want to write a book about everything because there are million and one questions that people need to know. An easy example to think is financial services. If you're a financial planner then you could talk to people about any number of different elements going from critical enlist or life insurance, one of end of the spectrum, to retirement planning, three, to planning for school, education funding. All of those things as a financial planner you might cover. But to the reader, to the recipient they're too diverse. All of those things aren't going to appeal to the one person. And really if you try to write a book that covered all of those things, it would be huge and it would take you forever and honestly you're never going to do it because if you were going to do it you would have done it by now.
Narrowing them to a specific type of audience and understanding that you want to address these particular customer groups that's still might be very broad. If you're thinking about targeting people from a demographic point of view or a geography based point of view, I'm going to target all female customers between the ages of 35 and 60 within 50 miles of where I operate business. That might be good for a Facebook campaign because you can tie down those demographics but in terms of writing a book, who those people are within that group is still too wide.
The second stage of a purposeful outline you just might be at the stage where you've done some work to narrow it down but still it's too broad to comprehensively answer one question within the confines of a book that you're practically going to create. Dial in a little bit further. Have that outline refined a little bit further so you've got a very clear endpoint that you're working back to or back from and the steps in the outline clearly take people from not necessarily knowing anything about it through the couple of things that they need to the outcome on the back.
The third level and this where we're starting to really get it dialed in. I think most people are probably going to be between level two and three on most of these mindsets depending on how much time and attention they've put into each individual one. So level one is really you haven't thought about it at all. Level four at the top is you've got it absolutely dialed in and most people aren't quite there. Two and three is kind of that borderline between I've paid some attention to it but I could do more and I've paid quite a lot of attention to it but I need to still dial in a little bit further. Level three then when we're talking about a purposeful outline, you're focused on answering one or two specific questions but you still might not have a clear direction in order to lead people to the call to action at the back.
This is probably I'd say the majority of people who talk to us are in this space where they've, 'cause we talk so much about dialing it in that most people have heard me harp on about it before. So people come in and know that they should be dialed in a little bit but still having that very clear outline, thinking about the outline as bullets in a presentation. So we're going to start the presentation at this point doing some fundamentals and basics, the introduction to the subject or context. Stating why it's important and what the benefits are at the end of it. Doing all of that pre-positioning piece and then here are the three, four, five steps that you absolutely need to know in order to answer this particular thing correctly and then finishing with here's what to do next.
Obviously there are several other things that you need to know about or once you've achieved this first level of competence then you can take it to the second level. All of these next things here's the way that you can start that part of the journey. The book itself is comprehensively answering something in a useful way. The outline leads people from not necessarily knowing anything through some logical steps, think of the table of contents, if it stood by itself that it would still make sense. People would still get where you're going with it. And then the end is the call to action of how to get to the next stage.
And that leads into the fourth stage. This is where you really, the top level in this particular mindset. The best definition of a purposeful outline would be you've considered the journey from the title which is the promise of a solution all the way through to the back cover which is the call the action and what to do next. And there's a clear path for people to get value from the content and a reason for them to learn more. That outline as we were just describing, it really takes them from the promise of the title which got them to raise their hand in the first place through to I'm going to share these useful bits of information which if we never had another conversation this would provide you with some value through to here's what to do next and start taking the journey a little bit further.
Betsey: That great. That's very clear. I think you're right when you say that people are somewhere in between having a clear path is important and I think sometimes, maybe sometimes when people come back after they've had a chance to digest the book if they want to make any changes I think then we see maybe more of that clear path. That it had time to focus and we'll see a little bit of tweaking. It's always interesting to see how someone tweaks a book on our end and they send it back. I think I've noticed this more and more, how their table of contents will even change. How once they've had time to really get into it and dive into it.
Stuart: That's a great point because it's difficult, even in just this we're talking about eight mindsets over the Book Blueprint Score. We've been talking now for 20 minutes or so just on this one particular one. Obviously there's a limit to how much you can bring people on a journey in that first version from not necessarily having thought about this before or certainly not thought about it in the way that we talk about it through to having the most comprehensive output that they can possibly be. And that really reinforces the 90 minute book approach is it's fast and cost effective to get something out in the marketplace that tests the concept of whether this is even viable or worthwhile and then gives you an easy way, a simple way to iterate on it later. So rather than a traditional publishing paradigm or way of thinking about it which means that this is such a pain in the neck and it takes so long and it's so expensive to do all of this that it needs to be perfect on the first attempt. And it's difficult and time consuming and expensive to get to that point.
But just as you said, it's not until you've had chance to think about it, to let it settle in, to put the book, the first version of the book out there in the marketplace to see how people are responding to it. Even with the best intention in the world you could come into this being the top level on all of these things, get it out there in the marketplace and then realize oh hell, actually this is, I missed the point here. What the market actually want, are people are finding most value in is a thing that's slightly to the side of it. So the whole approach is to quickly be able to get something that's as effective as it can be out in the market. Test in real world and then come back and iterate and improve and if it's worthwhile, iterate and improve and go through the motions of making those improvements. Because you're coming from a greater place of understanding as well. Because you've been through the process once, you've understand how it works.
It's like driving, so of course in the U.K., 90% of the vehicles here are manual transmissions obviously in the States the other way around, 90% are automatics. When you learning to drive as a 17 year old kid, the difficulty of driving a manual, a stick shift, even just getting the pedals to work is such a kind of, it all lives in your conscious mind. It's such an overhead but having driven for too many years than I care to remember, but I don't think you even think about the manual transmission now. All of that becomes second nature and same with a book.
A lot of these things that were talking about are taking some conscious mental effort to process but once you've had a book out there, once you got the feedback, once you've, a lot of these fall into place, all of the stuff that can become second nature and become more familiar does and then you can really look accelerating and pulling the lever and the things that really make a difference and tweaking the outline to make it even better than the version that we'd help you create. Might be one of those levers that are well worth doing.
That's the other thing as well, we talk about all of this and obviously we've done just coming off of 500 books now so a lot of these things we are coming from the position of this is automatic and subconscious and it makes sense how all of the pieces fall together. If you're coming to it and you're thinking, holy cow, just listen to them talk for 20 minutes and I really don't what they're talking about. Hey, that might be a failure on my part for not being clear enough. It might just be that hey just go through this once or twice. Get a couple of, I don't mean create a couple of books but just think about the outline a couple of times. Do the first version of it.
Obviously if you're working with us then we'll guide you through all of this but if you're listening to this doing it yourself then write a couple of the outlines, leave it to the side, come back the next week and look at it again. And if you look at the outline just by itself and you're thinking that doesn't make sense or I'm not sure what I was getting at there or the order of that isn't as logical as I thought it was when I first did it. All of that stuff you need to just let it settle in a little bit and then come back and tweak and that second time of looking you're probably going to have a clearer set of eyes because you've gone past that first stage. Again, there's so much conscious effort of getting it down there, going from zero to something is way, way, way more difficult than going from something to something better because of that whole inertia of getting it started.
Betsey: I like that you say, I was just thinking about we've had a couple of clients who for personal reasons have come onboard and they've started the outline, they've gotten that far and then they've had to deal with business or personal issues and those individuals I always notice when they've had some time away from it, unintentionally, they come back, there's always a different perspective. And I see them doing additional work or tweaking things a little bit more. So I think that's really true to say. Particularly if you are doing this on your own, bless you for doing that. Good luck. I think that's true, you have to step away and say, "Okay is this valuable, is this the right place to head?" Am I headed down that quote unquote clear path? But I think people when they've had that chance to stop and take some time away from it and come back to it I think they are able to regroup and say, "Wow, I think there's something else here that might be more valuable." A different way to go.
Stuart: Exactly. And I think that if for whatever reason you've got a pause forced upon you by external circumstances that great. On the other side people who move through the process pretty fast, the whole thing around having this set up so dialing it in, refining it is really going from the 80% to the 90%. We're definitely going to get you to the 80% and if you're doing this by yourself you're almost certainly going to get a good way along the track that first pass. So if you are moving fast through the process and you also get it out there and get that feedback, the whole process that we've set up and we talk about you guys setting up if you're doing to by yourself, of being able to iterate on it later, means that you can do those updates, do those corrections based on both your own feedback and the external feedback of customers.
So the only thing if anyone's listened to thinking, oh I should probably do that now. Should write the version and leave it a month and then come back to it. The only thing I'd caution there is don't because no matter how much time you leave it, time's going to pass anyway and still get it out there and feedback from real people. 'Cause I think there's definitely the case that people, you really don't know this whole kind of lean startup type methodology of you can have the best intentions in the world or the best plans or the best academic market research but until you actually put it out there in the hands that real world feedback is really going to change what your perception is of what people want. I think both groups of people have got that great advantage and the real key thing is as you said, when you look at it through a later set of eyes it's surprising how much, how you see it in a slightly different way.
Betsey: I think so, yeah.
Stuart: That was number five. We are 30 minutes in but I'm definitely going to dive through number six as well.
Betsey: Let's do it.
Stuart: Because otherwise we'll this is going to take us forever to get through these. So number six value driven content. And by it will take us a long time to get through. It'll take me because I'm the one that's talking too much.
Stuart: Number six on the Book Blueprint Scorecard, value driven content. So we've talked about a lot of this already, made suggestions to it that the content in many ways is the least important part of the whole process up to assuming that you pass a certain threshold. In most of the cases that we're talking about, we're talking to people about starting conversations with potential customers. We're not talking about creating books to sell where the book itself is the product although there might be reasons why you want to sell it from a positioning point of view. But the underlying thought is that the book isn't the product, the product is either you or the service that you're looking to sell that's mentioned in the call to action. This is the start of the conversation that ends in them becoming a customer.
Content is the least important element of all of the things that we've talked about because we're not talking about you being an author in the traditional sense of the word and writing a book and the book being the product. We're talking about you being an author and getting all of the benefits of the authority and creating something that gives value as a way of starting the conversation and then the content needs to compel people if they get to the content, it needs to compel them to move from the front cover to the back cover in a way that they feel they get a value. Start to build that rapport, start to know they can trust you. So the next steps, the other bits of the conversation which we'll talk about in mindset number eight when we get to beyond your book, and the things that the book is just the start of the journey.
But the content is really just to make sure that there's no ill feeling, people don't feel cheated. They feel like they've got value. They understand that there are always other things that could be talked about but what we're trying to deliver is the most comprehensive answer to this thing that was suggested or gives them the most comprehensive way of getting the benefits that are suggested by the cover.
So far so good?
Betsey: So far so good. I think value driven content and beneficial constraints I have some things to say but they might overlap but we'll just touch on them anyway. Sometimes when people come in there's a lot of, I'm in real estate and I want to write a real estate book. And that could be a 500 page business book. When you think about that kind of scope and if you haven't really, even though we've worked on the outline and we know where we're headed with it, people want to put so much into a book sometimes. And we know that that's not, the content is great they want this to be of value to the reader but it doesn't need to be 200 pages to do that.
That is sometimes very hard for people to grasp on because they want to cram everything into it because they think the reader needs to know all of this and as will talk about in the mindset no, just touch on it enough so that they want to raise their hand. They want to reach out and say, "Hey, tell me more. I want to know more. What else do you have in your bag?"
Stuart: It always comes back to that kind of job of work thing and as you say it really does cross over into the next one, beneficial constraints which we'll talk about in a future show. But realistically speaking and this is I know the conversations that you have with people reinforce this all the time, realistically speaking there may well be a use case for why that book is valuable. If the way that you're using it means that you need to be able to walk in and drop a heavy book on the table that creates a thud and all of the baggage that comes with that around creating it. The extra time, the extra money, the cost and the overhead, if all of that is worthwhile, then by all means do it. There was, we often refer to the book in a box is the other end of the spectrum because they create more traditional bestseller type books that have far more content than the books that we create.
There's a difference. It serves a different purpose. But it comes at a different cost in terms of the actual financial cost. Significantly different from where we're coming in. The time cost. And even the time to get it completed not just your time in the project but the time to get it completed. If there's a use case for that then by all means that's worthwhile but understand what those costs are. And understand that the, be comfortable that investment is going to worthwhile. As opposed to writing something as you just suggested that starts the conversation.
So real estate is a great example because we've got a significant real estate business that Dean runs on the Go Go Agent side of things. And in there we quite often talk about things all the way down from guides, they're not even really crossing the threshold into a book but the guides side of things through to we've got books like how to sell your house for top dollar that the real estates use. And those are books that talk about one specific subject but it's a way of getting people to raise their hand and start the conversation. So, I mean not to beat a dead horse, but I think you're exactly right that, that perception that people come from for all the reasons that you talked about in the traditional book world and they come expecting all that's the position that they're coming from. Instead getting people to think, well what if you could get a lot of those benefits at a fraction of the cost both in terms of time and money. Overall, that's almost always more worthwhile than thinking that you've gotta cover absolutely everything.
Betsey: Absolutely, and I think that in fairness, those that follow Dean and Paul are very familiar with us, they come in with, they understand what the purpose of the book is. And those are very easy books to get accomplished. It's an easier climb when you're following that and like you said, book in a box is great but it's a much longer process. Financially it's a huge commitment. So, sometimes it's hard to talk people off that ledge.
Stuart: If people are quite happy being on the less looked at ledge and they're on the ledge with their eyes wide open so they know what the, if they're actually making that judgment, then that's perfect and if the judgment was that they needed that, that's absolutely not something that we're going to deliver for them because it's a completely different product. But, getting people to the point where they do question those things is great. And I think, to make it more accessible for everyone, so again as you're listening to do this, the objective is to make it as accessible as possible and really say "This is something that you can do." The Book Blueprint Scorecard mindsets are there to kind of guide you into making it the most effective possible.
That most effective possible is going to vary from person to person. So, even if you do feel like you need to go down the very traditional big book type approach, then still use the Book Blueprint Scorecard to validate each of those steps. It's just those steps are going to be a different level to what we typically talk about in the model that gets out first and more cost effective. So, both of those elements then if you're looking to sell a book and the book is the product, obviously the value of the value driven content needs to be significantly higher because there's an expectation when people are buying a book that it delivers a certain amount. When you're talking about getting people to raise their hand answering one specific question as detailed as possible, then being as detailed as possible, but no more detailed is the best way to think about it.
So the four stages is in this mindset, let's quickly run through them. So we start off by saying "You're writing a book to show people how much you know." So they know why they should hire you. And this is a conversation that we have quite a lot where people want to write something so that their evidencing how much of an expert they are. It's interesting because quite often the same conversation will be. "Well I want to tell people how much I know so they'll know how good I am.", but equally, "I don't want to tell them. I don't want to give them actual answers to things because then why would they work with me." People at this stage are kind of shooting themselves in both feet, not just one. It's kind of missing the point, no matter how much you tell people.
You take the real estate example, when Dean's talked it a lot about the traditional thing of having a realtor's photo on the back of a bus stop chair as opposed to sending out a postcard campaign or doing some more of the direct response stuff that we talk about. He'll often say, "Do you want to be rich or famous?" So writing something that just talks about how good you are and how much you know isn't going to push anyone's button. The silly title for book like that would be, The Guide to How Great Joe Blogs Is and no one's going to buy that because no one cares apart from your mom. Your mom might buy it I guess.
At the lowest end it's writing for the wrong reasons. It's not giving them value. It's not adding anything with the assumption that even if you never spoke again this is still going to give them something of value. It's really writing them, it's like a glorified sale pitch to a certain degree. This actually, this is interesting Because this crosses sometimes into we get a lot of people or a number of people who want to write based on a talk or a presentation that they've given and often people will say, "Well I've got this presentation recorded already, why can't I just use that." And real in every case we'll try and dissuade people from doing that because the intent and the approach even if the kind of context of their presentation is good and if you were to take the same outline for the presentation and record it again as a book, that might work but in recording it again the intent of how it's being recorded is specific to the context of a book. It's absolutely dialed in knowing how that audience is receiving and consuming it.
Whereas just trying to use something that delivered from stage the intonation and the voice, the words they use, the expectations that people can see you moving or the slides behind you just means that the words that end up on the page of the book are disconnected. And a little bit this process over that because so much of that presentation type world is around the first five slides establishes who you are and why it's important that you're on stage. Or there's the bigger picture of you on stage because of a reason, because you were invited there which all of those things don't really translate well into a book and it kind of falls under this first column a little bit. You're writing to show people how much you know so that they know why they should hire you rather than you answering a question to be helpful to them and then giving them the opportunity to follow the conversation. It's all in that early stage.
The second stage then and as with the last one, these middle two stages is probably where most people are sat at the moment either when they come to start working with us or as you're listening to this now. You probably somewhere in this area. The second stage you know you want to share some knowledge but you keep some back and instead just clearly indicate why they need to work with you to learn more. You can see this in the development of the previous one. It's slightly better here because you know that you need to share some knowledge, but just giving people a superficial view of it, not really answering their question, but telling that, again I always pick on financial advisors, I don't know why it's just fresh in my mind. I don't know that they're particularly worse than anyone else, but it's the example that always springs to mind.
So, quite often, we'll hear people talking about, "Well obviously you need to plan for this particular financial event." Or, "You need to do this particular thing about your taxes." Or, "You need to make sure that this particular insurance is sorted out. But really the only way you can do that is by coming into the office and talking to us." Now, to a certain degree, that might be correct, but that's probably, just the top level of it. In every circumstance that I can think of and the experience that we've had with people. In every circumstance you could write something that would allow people to find their own answers. Quite happy for people to write in there, obviously doing this by yourself is complicated. There are lots of moving parts to it. There're a number of elements that could go wrong if you just happen to go down the wrong track. So our advice is always come in for a consultation or a free consultation and we can walk you through it.
But it you really want to do this by yourself or you really just want to do a lot of due diligence before coming to the office, then here's the valuable content that will absolutely answer these questions and give you the benefits that were stated on the cover of the book. And the back of the copy, the call to action is obviously with this in mind come in for a particular free assessment as dialed into what they are doing as possible. So not a generic free assessment, but a specific analysis of this thing that we've just talked about in the book. But it still is giving them some value.
I think for a lot of people when they are just starting to think about this, they're thinking that they need to share something and they're quite happy to share something, but there's almost this scarcity, it's do you know how there's an I was watching an episode with Dean and Joe that talks about the difference between and idea and execution and Dean comes very much from the perspective that an idea trumps execution. I'm more on the side that execution trumps the idea. And the real answer is both are absolutely important and yes, nothing beats the better idea as long as that better idea is executed to the best extent. And equally so, you can be executing a rubbish idea to the best extent and it not be as effective as poorly executing a better idea. So, there's never an answer, but just bringing it back into the context of these books and people saying that they want to keep some stuff back, that's coming from a mindset that's outdated.
I could probably guarantee that whatever someone could come on the podcast, we talk about their idea and almost in 100% of the circumstances within 10 minutes of Googling I could find the answer to whatever it is we're talking about. Because just the pure information is no longer a competitive advantage because so much information is available now. Now what is a competitive advantage is the implementation of that idea and understanding it and really seeing how it fits in a bigger picture and that's the thing that no matter what you write in your book you're never going to be able to give that information away because that comes from 10 year’s worth of experience it's not something that you can write down on a page.
You could write down here's the three things that are specific around this tax law and here are the three things that in my experience are things that either catch people out or things that you need to be super aware of. But even so, even if you've given away all of that it's still not going to be the same as people coming into the office and you doing it for them. And by not writing it in the book the risk is that they're not getting value from it and they'll get the sense that you're holding something back. Particularly if you go as far as writing. Obviously the only way that you're really going to get something from this is to come and see me. Or there three other things I could tell you but I'm not going to tell you until you come and see me, even worse.
But by putting it out there you're really creating that relationship with the person that building that reciprocity, giving the most value driven content you can within the confines of the book and then clearly saying to people obviously it's best if we can do this for you or obviously it's best if we can review this for you because no matter what I write here I can't put in my 10 years of experience on these pages. The people who are receiving the book, who request it, the ones who are just going to do it by themselves anyway, who have got no intention of working with and never going to work with you no matter whether you put it some rubbishy light content or some heavy detailed content, if they're of that mindset they're unlikely to convert anyway.
But what it will impact is those people who are either definitely going to work with you or on the fence of working with you and if the content is really holding back, if it's too much I'm not going to give you the secret until you come into the office then it's going to deter those people. So the net position is that it's a negative rather than a positive. I'm sure I said that this one was going to be quick but still there's always more that I can say on it.
Betsey: I think people, I don't want to pick on financial advisors either but a lot of the information is standard. It's standard information. And so sometimes, and people say that to me a lot. They'll say, "I want to write a book about the best retirement. Where to put your money for the best return in your retirement or what have you, something like that. And they'll say, "But I see you have three or four books along with that subject in your gallery." People are always like, so is there another book needed? People ask me that. And there is because every, and the thing is it's everyone's voice is just a little bit different. That's the thing. I said, "What you're going to bring, it can be the same information. It can be one to 10 exactly the same information but whatever it is, your voice is there. What you can offer, how you're going to do things. How you would do things. Those are things that are different."
Stuart: Yeah, absolutely.
Betsey: And when you read these books you can see that. You can see the difference. Just reading the ones we've done.
Stuart: That's the key thing. Particularly things like as you say, financial services, all those things where there's of course there are fundamental rules and everyone is following the same rules. Their argument is almost like saying, "Well there's one tax law written in the country so why is there more than one tax company because surely just one company would have found the most effective way to do this and then it would just dominate." There are some big companies out there like H and R Block and TurboTax and some of the other ones. But there's also a million other, well not a million but there's also a large number of other ones because exactly as you said, it's your tone, it's what you bring to it. It's your customer service that you wrap around it. It's your access to the market.
So all of the books that we've written are, I don't think any of them, all of them could be national but I don't think any of them are particularly national. The majority of people that we're working with are people who are working within a geographic or a kind of demographic area. It's not like we're working with, I mean we're working with some big companies that have some big reach but it's not like we're working with Coca-Cola who are doing a national campaign and the book is the best beverage recipe. It's that even with the big companies that we're working with, they tend to be dealing within specific niches and their access to the market or who they resonate with best is different from how you who are thinking about it resonate best with your group of people.
And in fact actually I'd put a challenge out there. We've done quite a lot of the last couple of podcasts we talked syndication books so we've had quite a lot of people reach out to us and a lot of conversations like that going on at the moment. I'm putting a challenge out there if you think that you've got a book that you could get national reach with that you have a particular view on things which is different from someone else or just your approach is slightly different if you want to write that syndication book and then license it out to other financial advisors or florists or real estate agents, all of the things that we talked about in last week's show, so jump back to show 52 Because we dove into a few more examples of this.
But you've got the perfect opportunity of writing it for yourself, dominating in your local market to the extent that you want and then allowing it to be syndicated to the other coast or to the next state or to places where really your reach only goes so far so you might as well take your knowledge and let it help other people and have a win win situation where you can make some money off that. If you are thinking that this is an issue that the one that your writing is relevant to all markets then syndicate it. It's a great opportunity to add to what you're doing. But anyone that's seeing a book that's out there is like I'll go back to the real estate, the people's faces on bus stops chairs at bus stops. There's more than one real estate agent in your town and there might be two bus stops opposite each other on the road with two different pictures on. Again, not suggesting that's the best way of doing it but just because something already exists, it doesn't exist in your voice and it doesn't exist with the reach to your market.
Okay, let's move on and get wrapped up because we are drifting towards the hour here. If when this show goes out it ends up being in two parts, it's because I ended up splitting it but I think we'll stick it out as one. The last two stages in the Book Blueprint mindset number six, value driven content. The third stage and this is probably where the majority of people are. You make sure to cover the subject promised in the title but hold back some of the secrets. The level between two and three and again, head over 90minutebooks.com/podcast and episode 53 to download a copy of the Book Blueprint Scorecard or go to bookblueprintscore.com and fill out for yourself. But the level between these two it's the same path, it's a gradiated difference. It's advancing your thinking a little bit further down the track. If you're at this level you know that you want to cover the subject that's promised. You keep it dialed in. You give as much information as possible but you're still holding something back.
And the worst case examples of this is where, Because if you're holding back secrets then the people might not necessarily know but the worst case of this is where people clearly say, "Okay there is some other stuff that I could tell you but you need to come into the office for that." Now there's a way of saying that in a good way which is more along the lines of, "Obviously there's more to this and it's a complex subject so the best thing that you can do is come in for the free assessment or fill out this form and we'll do an assessment based off it." So there are ways of saying the same thing but in a better way but if you're in a position where are writing something but you're clearly stating that you're holding something back because of this kind of false thought that that makes you special in some way or people be kind of wowed or in awe of the fact that you've got other secrets that you can't share them. That's not the best position to be in.
And then fourth level so this is where really where you've got it dialed in to the top possible level as far as the content's concerned is you understand that this opportunity is the opportunity to start a conversation by giving the most value. The book is the most comprehensive answer to an important but narrow question and the content is entirely focused on answering that and giving that value and not about you. It's to start them on the conversation to the next journey. Start them on the step to the next part of their journey rather. I think this last element is really getting to the point of the book itself isn't a conversion tool, it's an identification tool. We talk about proffered ad value number two, getting people to raise their hand. Out of all of the population out there these are the people who are the most likely to be your customers so you can put some more attention to these people. So the job of the book is to get them to raise their hand. The job of the work isn't to convince them to take an action.
We've talked about the content leading to the back cover. So it's to compel them to take it to the next action. It's to give them opportunities to raise their hand more if you like or for them to take that next step. That minimum viable commitment call to action. But it's not to overwhelm them with how great you are and why you're the best and why they should work with you and they're stupid if they don't. I think if people remember or come through it from that mindset there are ways of subtly cuing that information but I think thinking about it as the value should be valuable enough to get them past the threshold of thinking that it is valuable. The easy way of doing that is to have some constraints which we'll talk about in the next mindset episode. But really as long as it delivers on the promise of the cover and it doesn't have to deliver any more meaning that is achievable, that it is cost effective. It is fast to get out there then that really is you're positioning your book as the best it can be to do this job.
There we go.
Betsey: There we go.
Stuart: Okay, do you know I gave that to you quick text because we're recording this on Tuesday and obviously we need to get this out on the weekend so our timing just didn't line. I dropped Betsey a quick line saying, "Hey have you got time for a quick recording? We're just going to knock out these two and it'll be quick." This is probably heading to the longest show recently.
Betsey: I think it is. I think so. But you know what? It's good information. It's valuable content.
Stuart: It is.
Betsey: I think the listener will gain a lot from this.
Stuart: I should have just been strong on the beneficial constraints.
Betsey: There you go.
Stuart: As you're listening to this a couple of actions to take next to really get this starting for you guys. First head over to either 90minutebooks.com/podcast and this is episode 53. Take a look at the show notes. The transcript will be up in a day or two and then you can just scroll through. Head over to bookblueprintscore.com to complete your own scorecard. These are the questions laid out. Gives you the opportunity to enter a score in and then we'll email you afterwards just that overview of what your score was. So it's a great way of identifying which elements you already got dialed in and which ones you could perhaps pay a little bit more attention to in order to get a better outcome.
If you want to be a guest on the show we put this offer out there a couple of weeks ago and we've had some responses so we're going to start scheduling those now. Theoretically talking about with myself and Betsey is obviously great but there's nothing quite like talking about real life scenarios. If you've had a chance to listen to More Cheese Less Whiskers or Listing Agent Lifestyle we want to follow a similar model at least in some of the shows and give you guys the opportunity for either people who are thinking about writing a book. Whether or not it's with us but if you're thinking about writing a book then come on and we can do some strategizing around create some evil schemes around how to create the book in the first place.
We're going to put the offer out to some of the existing authors that we've worked with and you've already heard from some already in past shows. But if you guys listening to this want to come on the call to just strategize how you can use the book now it's completed or maybe even as Betsey was saying before, you've had it out there for a while, you've got some feedback and you're now thinking about dialing in a version update or writing a second book to address the second market, again, feel free, head over to 90minutebooks.com/podcast and on the page there there's a big ass link on the right hand side. Fill in some details and we're going to get those scheduled over the next couple weeks.
One last one, if you're not on the More Cheese Less Whiskers list then Dean recorded a show that went out last week with Dr. Phil Yoo who's a, they've got a genetics based solution to knee pain and joint recovery, that type of thing so a nonsurgical procedure. So they were talking very much about using a book to feed their live workshops. They've got a model where they'll advertise a workshop, they'll bring people to the workshop, they'll give some information about the procedure and then they'll convert clients from there.
So that was an hour talking specifically about how to make that more effective and how to separate out this lead collection from conversion point of view. So collecting as many names as possible at the front. As many relevant names as possible and then following up with the workshop because you've already started that conversation. But rather than only being able to talk with the people who are ready to jump onboard and go to a workshop today as they are in the existing model, changing that to a book as the lead generator, as the front end, allows you to collect all of the names of people he might be interested and then over time when they're ready they can come into the funnel and attend a workshop and go from there. If you haven't listened to that, that's episode 87 of the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast. So head over to morecheeselesswhiskers.com episode 87, Dr. Phil Yoo and it's a great practical example of how to have, how a book can really juice up and amplify an existing funnel.
I think that's it. The only other thing to say is obviously we've talked for an hour now. In an hour we could've recorded your book and have it down there in the process ready to turn into a book and get it out the door.
Betsey: We could've done that, right.
Stuart: Exactly. If you are ready to get started then head over to 90minutebooks.com/start and there are all the steps there you need to take and we can have your book out by the summer and it can be collecting leads.
Betsey: Very good.
Stuart: Any last words?
Betsey: No. Great show. Always a pleasure.
Stuart: I think I have definitely run out of words as well finally. So thanks everyone for listening. Like I said if you want to be guest on the show head over to 90minutebooks.com/podcast and be a guest and then we'll catch you all in the next one.
Betsey: Very good. Take care.
Stuart: Thanks Betsey. Bye.